Monday, December 12, 2011

Consulting and Sales

Watching "Clean House" and "Hoarders" on cable has spurred me to sort through voluminous storage boxes of books and donate or sell many of them. Where did they all come from? Who let this happen? Why wasn't I informed?

Many of these treasures followed us like shipboard rats during three long-distance moves in four years, only to wind up within six miles of where they started. Most have sat for two or three years since then in unopened boxes. It's not only time to sort and cull them, it's also highly therapeutic to toss each disposable dead tree into a burgeoning heap on the couch and yell "Heraus!" for each miscreant tome in my best Sergeant Schultz voice.

There's a side benefit of a clearing-out, if you look at it with an anthropologist's eye: you get an opportunity to see in one place a collection of that which was once valuable and is no longer.

I haven't decided which of the following titles to keep, sell, or pitch from a banker's box labeled "Consulting and Sales", but the motley collection as a whole represents an intriguing catalog of entrepreneurial life in the 1990s and 2000s:

          Competitive Intelligence
          The Complete Book of Consulting
          The Consultant's Guide to Proposal Writing
          Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling High-
                    Tech Products to Mainstream Customers
          Earning What You're Worth?
          Going Solo
          Hanging Out a Shingle
          How to Be a Successful Computer Consultant
          How to Start and Run a Successful Independent
                    Consulting Business
          Independent Consultant's Q&A Book
          Infopreneurs: Turning Data Into Dollars
          Making It in High Tech Sales
          Million Dollar Consulting
          Non-Manipulative Selling
          The Power of Consultative Selling
          Proposal Planning & Writing
          Quality Selling Through Quality Proposals
          Renewable Advantage
          Secrets of Question Based Selling
          Secrets of the World's Top Sales Performers
          Selling Dreams: How to Make Any Product
          Selling in the Quality Era
          Selling Skills for the Nonsalesperson
          Solo Success
          Successful Large Account Management
          You Can Negotiate Anything

Apparently, as with woodworking, my hobby is reading about it rather than doing it. Had I followed the advice in any three of these worthy volumes assiduously, I'm sure my tax return and bank balance would be more like what the author of Million Dollar Consulting had in mind.

I looked up each of these books on Astonishingly, most of them are now available used for one penny plus shipping and handling, and all but two are priced under a dollar. There's a lesson in there somewhere.

Cartoon from Whack Your Porcupine . . . And Other
Drawings by B Kliban. Copyright 1977 by B Kliban.


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